Career Exploration: Creating a Pathway to Your Future

As a kid, you were probably asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” You might reflect today that such a question for a young mind is heavily weighted with expectation, and how could one so young possibly know what he/she wants out of life? You might also reflect that your answer was based mostly on a person or persons whom you admired, which might range from a firefighter to a doctor; however, your answer probably had little to do with considerations such as salary, benefits, vacation, education , and ultimately, your personal happiness. Some of you probably just wanted to wear the cool hat and the suit. So if you were to answer this question today, “What do you want to be when you grow up,” how would your answer differ and for what reasons?

Part 1

"But I Don't Wanna Grow up"

To start our career and education unit, you will address this essential question by writing a one-page response to the prompt below.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Some things to consider including in your response:

Save as > "whatIWantToBe" and print a copy

Part 2

Now for a Little Thing we Call Reality

Dreams get us going – they motivate and inspire us to be something bigger than what we are now, but dreams also have a way of obscuring reality. We’re not here to burst your proverbial bubble, but we do want to set you up for success, not failure before you even get out of the gate.
So before you take that next big step, pinch mom and dad for cash, and head to college in pursuit of your dream, let’s take a closer look at your career choice.
Visit  -- the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bereau of Labor Statistics

  1. Find your career choice
    • Hint – you may need to do some digging; your career choice may be listed differently than what you might expect
  2. Read each of the following sections:
    • "What They Do"
    • "Work Environment"
    • "How to Become One"
    • "Pay"
    • "Job Outlook"
    • "Similar Occupations"


Write a ½-page reflection in a new Word doc addressing the key questions below:

  1. What did you learn about your career interest that might be different than what you thought or didn’t have any idea about?
  2. What surprised you the most about your career interest?
  3. What type of qualifications and/or training must one have to enter into that particular career field and did any of this information surprise you?
  4. What is the “job outlook” of the career field (is it growing, stagnant, or declining) and why does it have this trend?
  5. What are the earnings potential of this career and does it fit in with the type of lifestyle you want in the future?
  6. Consider why you chose this particular career (re-visit your “What I want to be” response) and reflect on how this article either reinforced your aspirations or made you reconsider. Why?

Save as > "careerReality"